The sound of one sport clapping (ok two then)

Last night Australia had its first real taste of watching favourite sporting events with empty stadiums as both AFL and NRL were broadcast on Seven and Nine, respectively.

It was an odd experience, relying on the distant shouts of AFL players for atmosphere, and Seven cleverly including social media vision of fans to give some context. NRL matches also benefited from their microphones on referees.

Thursday Night AFL drew 798,000 viewers which was up 8% on 2019 season opener. Thursday Night NRL was 307,000.

Self-isolating Gogglebox was the top entertainment drawcard at 604,000 for 10.

Seven News was #1 for the night at 1.1m / 944,000 defeating Nine News 994,000 / 968,000.

Seven network won Thursday with 32.9% then Nine 24.1%, 10 19.0%, ABC 15.9% and SBS 8.1%.

The Chase drew 532,000 / 359,000 for Seven then Home and Away (358,000 in 3 cities), Pooch Perfect was 218,000 / 47,000on two channels.

A Current Affair was 549,000 in cities for Nine followed by Hot Seat 500,000 / 449,000. RBT (204,000 in 3 cities) and a Nine News Special (255,000).

Ambulance Australia drew 463,000 for 10 then The Project (483,000 / 355,000), 10 News First (449,000 / 258,000) and a Hughesy repeat (220,000).

ABC News won its slot on 852,000 for ABC followed by 7:30 (708,000), Sammy J (366,000), Grand Designs Australia (299,000),  The Heights (270,000), The Drum (217,000) and Would I Lie To You? (211,000).

On SBS it was Secrets Of Britain (191,000), SBS World News  (145,000), The Kennedys: A Fatal Ambition (181,000), 24 Hours In Emergency (75,000) and Mastermind (62,000).

Bluey again led multichannels on 381,000.

The Morning Show: 145,000 / 105,000
Today Extra: 132,000 / 86,000
Studio 10: 53,000 / 48,000 / 38,000

OzTAM Overnights: Thursday 19 March 2020

Amended.

41 Comments:

  1. Continuing the footy code thread (if not the Thurs night ratings one), the AFLW quarter finals were Epic yesterday. An unexpected bonus considering channel 7 had underscheduled the intended home-and-away round this weekend.

  2. Watching without crowds is fine, except when a goal is scored. Maybe a little cheering track then, or even (temporarily) the flame shooters in the distance. The lack of sound makes it hard to tell immediately if the ball has succeeded or missed.

  3. 7News Melbourne just said that the match is the highest watched opening AFL match in 5 years. They also said 798,000 watched in Melbourne (12.4% up last year) & 1,024,000 watched nationally (4.4% up), Is this including regional??

  4. I wonder if the AFL figure will fall next week, as it is a strange experience. Still, an increase on last year, 6th spot, when the NRL didn’t even make the top 20 and can’t even boast that they won with the Fox ratings.
    Can’t see them finishing a season.

  5. Do not know if this is the right topic to post this, but I read ‘somewhere else’ that the pre recorded Big Brother on 7 had the 1st eviction and nobody pressed the record button, so the evictee had to go back in and look surprised when he or she’s name was called out again. Oh Dear.

    • This is preposterous. I can see this is going to flop big time now. Who is going to watch it now knowing that it’s been faked? Should have gone with the common sense wishes of the fans for live elements and not manipulated fake storylines. I’m not foolish enough to want to watch the new BB anymore.

    • Crazy times and that is even crazier, with so many people working from home, kids at home, older people stuck inside this is the type of show that should be on now live and with extra steaming options during the day, to entertain us while we work from home ?

      • Maev....Sydney

        I remember the initial shows on TEN….my kids and their friends were constantly watching on their phones…and all the talk was the R rated times I think late at night.

        • Really?? They were watching on their phones in the mid 2000’s? I would’ve thought we were all still carrying around a Nokia and playing that snake game

  6. The first week of the Olympics in Athens in 2004 the stadiums were virtually empty and, to pretend everything was OK, the IOC and Games organisers (ATHOC) instructed the host broadcaster (AOB) to abandon any wide-shots that showed the empty seats.

    • Do you also remember all the big promos and fanfare from Harvey Norman and others about buying a new Widescreen TV only to have the games broadcast in 4×3 format ,they said it was due to the feed they were given which they would have known well in advance.

      • Which games are you referring to? 2000 games were in 4:3 ratio (digital TV didn’t start until January 2001) and widescreen plasma’s had only just reached the market by then. However, Athens 2004 was in widescreen and the uptake of digital set top boxes meant that there were quite a few people watchign in widescreen.

        • The main feed of Athens 2004 coming out of the host broadcaster was not in widescreen. Only their experimental, limited HD feed was in widescreen and featured completely different camera angles to the regular feed. Seven offered this on an additional HD channel during the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, with alternative commentary, as did NBC and no doubt a few others. Not sure if any sports were shown on this service during the Games but I don’t think so.

          The Olympics did not go 100% widescreen until Torino 2006. And they did no go 100% HD (1080i) until Beijing 2008. Just for the record 🙂

          • Ah ok,thanks for that ,if you look online or YouTube you see the events in 4×3 so yeah ,still I did enjoy the games I admit and I don’t mind the opening at all.

          • Correct – the primary host broadcast was in 4:3. Sports covered separately in widescreen HD were aquatics, track & field and gymnastics plus, because of the change in venues for the finals, finals in basketball and soccer. The coverage was quite limited compared to the main host broadcast and was not promoted as part of the main Olympic coverage, but as an “experimental” coverage.

        • Im referring to Athens ,I know the 2000 games were 4×3 and i am certain the same was for Athens due to the feed we got via IOC ,of i am wrong I am happy to admit error ,perhaps some of channel 7s images were WS but I am not sure.

  7. thedirtydigger

    Yes Seven knew it was going to be low on a Thursday night when AFL started so that leads me to conclude they did not have a lot of faith in the programme from the start.
    The fact that it consumed an extraordinary amount of Promo time, would have cost a bomb in terms of Rebel’s fee, and was touted by Seven Programming as a weapon again Reality ( it was never put up against MAFS or Survivor ) makes it apparent the end result was way below par on what they thought they had on their hands.
    Second season anyone ?

    • I was thinking same ,go the digital crowds and some noise ,it’s weird ,as for the AFL it proves Melbourne people are crazy , crowds or no crowds.

    • I prefer no crowd noise. It gives a real insight into how the players feel there at the ground and we get to hear some of what they actually say out on the ground which is otherwise drowned out by the crowd normally. Just deal with no crowd noise. Make it yourself at home if it’s such a big problem for you. It can just be a sign of these extraordinary times we are currently living in. We don’t need that fake canned stuff

      • Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

        I agree and it adds that element we never see normally, plus some players train to ignore the crowd so not having a crowd there means some training is going to have to be different.

        Basically it started with Travis Cloke back in 2011:

        “I’ve been using a different technique with the iPod in the ears and listening to a bit of the crowd noise, the forward explained. Just getting used to the crowd noise, we get pretty big crowds, and it seems to be working. I use it once or twice a week and just do half a dozen or a dozen shots at goal per day.”

        Similarly now they train to not be distracted by the video signage at ground level now when lining up for goal, basically selectively stopping their peripheral vision catching the advert moving (so they don’t think it’s someone on the lead or an opposition player).

        • Maybe they could play the games at an oval with a better back drop. I know the VFL use to play a game that had an ocean back drop. Since they have no crowds it does not matter what ground.

          • Jᴏʜɴɴʏ 1ᴘ5

            Yeah could play at grounds like Whitten Oval in Footscray as the AFLW do, where you see the homes in the background and cars going down Geelong Road.

    • estherhoffman

      I think the digital crowd might be the way to go.It was very strange and flat watching the game last night.Or at least they could let 400 or so people into the ground,keeping them well spaced of course,to create a bit of atmosphere.

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